NRBA Conference, Fall 2014, at Hial Steele Halters, 8611 Dry Creek Road, Belgrade, Montana     September 19 - 21, 2014


                                Demonstrator Joe DeLaRonde

Joe De La Ronde has been a professional blacksmith for over 40 years. His expertise includes traditional tool and weapon making and ornamental iron work. Following a three year apprenticeship under a Master German Blacksmith, he purchased his instructor's shop and has continued in the tradition of a coal forge rather than a gas fired forge.

Joe has organized and taught numerous workshops throughout the country, having worked under the auspices of the U.S. Park Service, the South Dakota Arts Council, state and local historic sites, museums and universities. His work can be found in private collections and museums throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and the Far East,

At the Fall Conference, Joe DeLaRonde, author of Blacksmithing - Basics for the Homestead, from Mancos, Colorado, demonstrated how to forge axes, tomahawks, a simple hinge and various frontier tools. During all phases of the Conference, he explained in detail, while working the forge, each step taken to complete a certain project to ensure complete understanding of the process. He entertained questions from members for clarification.



Dave Osmundsen of Arrowhead Forge in Buffalo, Wyoming demonstrating making the tools for, and then making a perfect slot-and-drifted hole:

The perfectly punched hole.


Joe De La Ronde explaining his demonstration to NRBA members.


Dave helping Joe delineate the transitions between the various segments of an axe blank:

Axe blank completed.


Folding over the future axe head.


Axe head folded, showing the future poll, eye and what will be the blade.


Making the forge weld.


Shaping the blade.


The finished forged axe head.




Member, Bill Eyman.



Some of Joe's work:

  Traditional knife and tomahawks forged by Joe DeLaRonde




Locations are needed for future conferences. A stipend is available to defray the cost. If you would consider hosting a conference, please contact any NRBA board member.

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